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review 2018-04-18 13:43
Legacy of the Diamond by Andrea Kane
Legacy of the Diamond - Andrea Kane

The black diamond, a gem of unfathomable wealth and beauty, has plagued the Huntley family for generations. It prompted the feud with the Bencrofts, it supposedly brought a curse upon the Huntleys...and now resulted in Aurora Huntley being kidnapped and held for ransom.

Slayde Huntley is more than happy to give up the diamond if it means saving his sister's life...Only it's not his sister that he saves, but Courtney Johnston, a sea captain's daughter whose ship had been attacked by pirates and whose father had been forced overboard. Aurora, on the other hand, had merely been in London for a short trip with a longtime family friend...



This book was a huge disappointment.

From the characters (the heroine and the hero's sister acted like children instead of young women and the hero was a curse-believing idiot for the better part of the story) to the suspense which could've worked if the story wasn't overburdened with the drama and angst of the characters. As it was, the big reveal of who the villain was, came as a huge surprise (the only plus of the book), while the motive ended up sounding rather idiotic, and the whole thing was resolved too quickly (a matter of pages).

It wasn't badly written, but was unfortunately weighted down by the characters and poorly developed suspense plot.

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review 2018-04-16 17:02
Wishes in the Wind by Andrea Kane
Wishes in the Wind - Andrea Kane

Someone is threatening her father's life, because the renowned jockey wouldn't throw a race, so Nicole Aldridge, willing to do anything to save her father's life, masquerades as a boy in order to seek employ with the Marquis of Tyrenham.

Little does she know, Dustin Kingsley would recognize her for the woman who's stolen his heart during a short conversation on the bank of the Thames and that the aristocrat will do anything to keep her father and her safe.


Unfortunately, this doesn't hold a candle to its predecessor. Not in characterization, romance (if you want to call it that), nor suspense.

The characters were unfortunately mere sketches, not truly developed beyond the initial story needs, the romance was rushed, hasty, and too instantaneous to be plausible, even less believable, and while the suspense could've been the saving grace of this novel, it was pushed into the background, playing second fiddle to the "romance". There was no real intrigue or intensity, and no real feel of peril.

I feel Dustin deserved more.

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review 2018-04-15 11:34
Echoes in the Mist by Andrea Kane
Echoes in the Mist - Andrea Kane

Six years ago, supposedly for causing a woman to commit suicide, Trenton Kingsley, Duke of Broddington, has moved to his estate in the Isle of Wight, into self-imposed exile. Now, he's back, determined to forever ruin the man he deemed responsible for the ruination of his life, Baxter Caldwell, the brother of the dead woman. Trenton is willing to do anything to accomplish his revenge, even using Caldwell's younger sister, Ariana, as a pawn.

Ariana Caldwell has grown up on stories about Trenton Kingsley's ugly character, but even though she's supposed to fear him, she doesn't. There's something in him that draws her in, convincing her all he needs redemption for whatever happened six years ago, and she's willing to provide it.

But someone doesn't want Trenton to be happy and that someone is determined to accomplish what the incident in the past has obviously failed to do. Utterly ruin Trenton Kingsley, no matter what.


Oh, wow.

It might sound presumptuous, but hey, it's my review. This story was a psychological drama disguised as a romance. And it worked. All of it.

The characters were engaging and realistic, deeply-layered and nicely drawn and developed. The story progressed at a perfect pace for the relationship and romance to grow slowly and organically; as Trent and Ariana slowly grew to know each other so did the reader and it is from that knowledge (mostly through observation, since words can sometimes be deceiving) that the romance, no, love, blossomed.

What worked most was the ambiguity. Ariana was the guide in the story, and the reader knew as much as Ariana did. The reader shared her apprehension, her doubts, her reasoning, and her thinking process. Who is Trenton Kingsley? What drives him? Did he really have a hand in her sister's death? What is the truth? What is a lie? What is an illusion? Who to trust?
The truth is hidden for most of the story, so the apprehension, the doubts as to the hero's true nature and/or intentions are real. The wondering, whether he's capable of what he's accused of, is incessant, even though instinct dictates there's more to it that meets the eye.
And in the end, it takes both observation, instinct and truth from his lips (as trust is finally established) to put the fears and doubts to rest, and for a man to finally find redemption and love.

But of course, that's not the end of the story. There's also an evil villain, their unwitting accomplice, and a nefarious plot to ruin Trenton (and Ariana in the process) out of pure spite, might I add.
The psychological torture was exquisitely done, finding both intended targets with chilling precision.

Intense, intriguing, chilling and alluring, this story is definitely a keeper.

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review 2018-04-13 15:50
4 Out of 5 "Redemptive" STARS
Retribution Rails - Erin Bowman

 

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~ABOUT THE BOOK~

Retribution Rails

Erin Bowman

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REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE

 

When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece's path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

 

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I think it has to be tricky to write a YA/Western.  The Old West is rather violent, and difficult to pull off in a YA scope.  You can't help but feel that scenes in Retribution Rails would have gone slightly differently in these infamous days of old, had they been true to them.  So, yeah, this is a lightly (somewhat) watered-down version of the old west.  Despite that, it is an engaging tale, with characters who have their own hopes and dreams that are inspirational in a time with little inspiration. 

 

While not necessary, I would suggest reading Vengeance Road beforehand, because the main characters in that book are present for a large chunk of the story in this book.  It will enhance your reading experience to know all about Kate and Jesse's story too.

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.7/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.2/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ Very Awesome!

Narration~☆4.5☆ Amy Melissa Bentley & Michael Summerer both did excellently.

Series~ Companion to Vengeance Road

Setting~ Old West, Arizona

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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review 2018-04-13 05:18
Review: Nadiya's British Food Adventure by Nadiya Hussain (sampler)
Nadiya's British Food Adventure - Nadiya Hussain

Published by: Michael Joseph (13th July 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-0718187668

 

Source: Netgalley 

 

Rating: 4*

 

Synopsis: 

Nadiya Hussain, winner of 2015's Great British Bake Off, is loved for her warmth and charisma as well as her unique approach to flavours. In her brand new TV series and book, Nadiya sets off around the country to meet some of the food heroes, growers and producers who are changing the face of modern British food.

 

Inspired by her journey, Nadiya has devised over 120 easy and enticing new recipes that fuse the local ingredients she encounters with her favourite flavours, plus a nod here and there to her Bangladeshi roots. Her reinvented classics sum up the remarkable diversity of twenty-first century Britain and the melting pot of tastes and culinary influences that shape what we all love to cook and eat today.

 

Nadiya's recipes just beg readers to try and taste for themselves, including: Masala Eggy Bread, Spiced Bean and Banger Stew, Ploughman's Cheese and Pickle Tart, Fish Pie with Cinnamon Sweet Potato, Lamb Bhuna with Garlic Naan, Star Anise Chicken Wings with Chunky Chips, Rosemary Banoffee Pie and Eton Mess Cheesecake.

 

Review:

The sampler of this cookbook from the winner of the popular Bake Off programme is crammed with appealing photographs designed to get your tummy rumbling and your tastebuds tingling, and it certainly did that!

The recipes are easy to follow and not there's no faffing about like you get with some other recipe books. After looking through this well thought out taster, I'll be looking forward to trying out some recipes from the full version. 

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